INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Connor Cook was determined to shake things up in the Big Ten title game.
By the end of the night, the sophomore quarterback's teammates were bouncing up and down right along with him.
No. 10 Michigan State rallied from a seven-point third-quarter deficit by scoring the final 17 points Saturday night to upset No. 2 Ohio State 34-24 and deny the Buckeyes a chance to play for the BCS national championship.
Cook and the Spartans were more than happy to oblige.
"I think we heard people talk bad about us all year. This wasn't the first week where we heard people say negative things about us as an offense or as a football team, Cook said after throwing a 9-yard TD pass with 11:41 left to five the Spartans a 27-24 lead. "I think we were underdogs in the majority of the games we played this year. It really didn't affect us."
But the Spartans' big win may prove costly in the league's bigger picture.
A win would have made No. 2 Ohio State (12-1) a virtual lock to play in its fourth BCS title game, and there was speculation the Spartans (12-1) might go to Pasadena anyway for the Rose Bowl, regardless of Saturday night's result. Instead, the Spartans are still likely to book their first Rose Bowl trip since the 1987 season, while the Buckeyes must wait Sunday night to find out which bowl they'll play in — and whether they'll play in a BCS game.
Michigan State's victory put Auburn, who the Buckeyes were rooting for last week against Alabama, in the title game against Florida.
To the Buckeyes, it was a deflating night.
"You know it's going to haunt all of us, I imagine, for a little while," Meyer said. "But that's part of the game."